Does Uber Have A Late Fee? A New Policy Could Mean New Fees For Customers

DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images
Share

If you're that person who only just starts looking for her shoes when she gets the notification that her Uber drive has arrived, you're not going to like this news. Uber is introducing a late fee, which is great for drivers whose time is being wasted by those who keep them waiting to start their ride, and not so great for the slowpokes who use arrival notifications as "start to get ready" alarms.

Announced on Tuesday, the ride sharing app is adding a slew of new features, most notably of which, is a per-minute late fee. Yes, from now on, being slow is seriously going to cost you. In the past, if your driver was really paying attention to the clock, you were liable to get a late fee charge after they've waited for you for two minutes. Now, you'll get charged extra for each minute you're late after those two minutes. So if that doesn't inspire you to hop to it, I don't know what else will!

All of this is a part of Uber's 180 Days of Change program that aims to better the experience for both drivers and riders by offering services and awards that ensure efficient rides and coordinating. Other updates include more judicial standards for cancellation fees, extra earnings for drivers who take on faraway pick ups, and even fees for returned lost items — triple check that you haven't left anything behind when you leave the car. Leaving your phone behind might doubly cost you next time.

Giphy

But what the late wait fee will actually look like for riders is yet to be seen. The price will vary from city to city, but one example reported on The Verge, was that a wait time of three minutes and 45 seconds would cost an Uber driver $0.86 in added costs. So, it sounds like the wait time fee is only fair. It also sounds like it's not going to be hugely taxing. You're not going to end up with a $300 late fee for a three minute wait, but you will end up with a higher charge on your card that you would have, if you were on time. So like, be on time!

The moral of the story is this: do not request an Uber unless you are ready to go. If it's safe for you to, wait outside for your Uber so that they can see you when they pull up and there's no confusion. If you can't wait outside, make sure that you've placed the location pin in exactly the right location so that your driver knows exactly where to go. You don't want to end up with a late fee because you accidentally set your location in the wrong place. And unless you're requesting an Uber from a very remote area, there's no reason to call it far in advance. There are plenty of drivers available in busy metropolitan areas, so save that request button for when you're fully dressed.

This new feature is not meant to stress out the passenger or make anyone feel like we're being punished. Rather, it's there to protect the driver — after all, a happy driver is less likely to cancel your trip or have an attitude with you for trying to eat a burrito in the back seat. So really, this update is good for everyone. And I'm sure that if there are any kinks and if you're improperly charged a late fee, you'll be able to contest it. I've found that Uber is pretty good at refunding you for mistakes.

And just in case, you might want to let your friends know about this new rule, before they find out the hard way.